SigSpace - Iraq en Don't let the door hit you on the way out. <p><a href="">Watada Discharged</a>:</p> <blockquote><p>The Army discharged Lt. Ehren Watada on Friday, writing the final chapter on the case of the most prominent military officer to refuse a deployment to Iraq.</p> <p>Fort Lewis spokesman Joseph Piek confirmed that Watada, who had refused to deploy to Iraq in 2006 with his Stryker brigade because he believed the war was illegal, finished outprocessing shortly before noon Friday.</p> <p>The Department of Justice dropped an appeal in May against a judge's dismiss key charges against the lieutenant, effectively leading to Friday's dismissal. Watada submitted a resignation request "for the good of the service in lieu of general court martial" at the end of June, Piek said.</p> <p>The Department of the Army approved that request in September, and the remaining pending charges against Watada were dismissed late last week.</p> <p>Piek couldn't confirm the type of discharge, citing privacy laws, but Watada lawyer Kenneth Kagan said it was granted under "other than honorable conditions."</p></blockquote> <p>Why aren't we allowed to call it a "dishonorable" discharge any longer?</p> <p>I expect to spend a chunk of my allowance on good whiskey when we finally get rid of <a href="">one of our <em>other</em> problem children</a>.</p> <p>Sig</p> Iraq Stupid People US Army Wed, 07 Oct 2009 03:55:22 +0000 sig 667 at E-mail scams, post-OIF <p>Maybe these aren't new to anyone else, but this is the first I've seen of it:</p> <blockquote><p>For Your Attention:<br /> The Managing Director/Owner</p> <p>REF: IRAQI RECONSTRUCTION EFFORTS - VARIOUS SUPPLIES.</p> <p>Hello, my name is MUZAHIM al-BAJAJI; this is an urgent Contract Invitation<br /> from Iraq . My benefactor in the new PM Al-Maliki regime is the Director<br /> General of the Budget Department/Debt Management Office (DMO) of the<br /> Ministry of Finance. He has mandated me to seek for your co-operation in a<br /> multi million Dollars worth of contract supplies on various goods and<br /> equipments:</p> <p>Civilian Aircraft.<br /> Hospital Equipment.<br /> Water Treatment Plants.<br /> Agricultural and Irrigation equipment.<br /> Crude Oil Mining and Shipment overseas.<br /> High Tech and Telecommunications equipment.<br /> General Air Purification and Filtration.<br /> Heavy duty construction and Earth moving Equipment.<br /> Machinery and Metal Tooling.<br /> hydraulic equipment and air hydraulic pump<br /> Medical equipment &amp; Health Products<br /> Computer Products, Hardware &amp; Electronic Equipment.<br /> Waste Disposal Equipment.<br /> Air Pollution Control.<br /> Building and Estate Management.<br /> Bullet Proof doors.<br /> Buses and Cars for ultra modern urban transportation network.</p> <p>If your company is capable of supplying any of the above-mentioned items,<br /> then kindly respond immediately DETAILING YOUR DIRECT TELEPHONE NUMBERS<br /> AND EXCLUSIVE E-MAIL and a scanned attachment of your well articulated<br /> TENDER. As soon as we receive these, I shall get back to you with all<br /> details exclusively. The final decision would be predicated upon your<br /> Company’s capabilities.</p> <p>Regards<br /> MUZAHIM al-BAJAJI<br /> Program Management Office.<br /> NB: 100% upfront is paid for all supplies</p></blockquote> <p>The "from" domain is, but the "reply-to" domain is</p> <p>At least it's novel. I was getting tired of the huge sums of money being offered to me, a random intarweb stranger, and I think it's rather telling in this economy that the scammers are promising not free money, but lucrative post-war reconstruction contracts.</p> <p>Sig</p> Iraq Stupid People Sat, 24 Jan 2009 17:18:12 +0000 sig 646 at You should be reading this guy. <p>[Originally posted at Vox Veterana on 08 MAR 08.]</p> <p>You wouldn`t know it from the news lately, but apparently there`s some troops over in Iraq doing something or another. Despite his handicap (LT bar), this guy has some great stuff to say, and does it beautifully and eloquently. If you want to know what it`s like to wander through the valley of the shadow of death, I can`t recommend <a href="" rel="nofollow">LT G</a> highly enough.</p> <p>I`d post links to my favorites, but I`ve <a href="" rel="nofollow">shared</a> a lot of them via my Reader and I`m holding a baby in one hand, so this is already a sisyphean task.</p> <p>Check him out--he writes gud.</p> <p>Sig</p> Blog Iraq vox veterana War on Terror Fri, 19 Dec 2008 01:43:17 +0000 sig 630 at Five <p>Five years ago today, President Bush stood in front of a banner proclaiming "Mission Accomplished." I remember the cautions about how we were in for a long war, but the Iraq campaign was considered done.</p> <p>Five years ago yesterday, I enlisted for 8 years in the Washington State Army National Guard.</p> <p>Sig</p> Iraq National Guard War on Terror Fri, 02 May 2008 01:34:04 +0000 sig 581 at Caring is nice. Doing is better. <p>In the context of the recent whining by a few misguided State Department pansies ("We won't go to Iraq, we won't we won't we won't!"), <a href="">Matt Sanchez</a> says some smart things.<br /> <blockquote>Free Tibet, Save Darfur, Feed the World – these slogans betray the fickle attitude behind the motivation for actually doing something. Too many "activists" think "caring" is enough, but despite television spots, celebrity endorsements and plenty of pity, Tibet is not free, the world is not fed, and Darfur is far from saved.</p> <p>The worse violators of this "I care therefore I am" scam are those who have no faith. Think of the missionaries daring deep jungles at a time when disease presented an even greater threat than hostile action. Think of those you know who are willing to make great sacrifice and risk, because their belief is deeper than a narcissistic bumper sticker or more enduring than a televised concert. </p></blockquote> <p>This attitude has always annoyed me, whether it's people not willing to pay the price (in money or in blood) to bail out a war-torn country or people at church who can't commit to anything beyond "keeping x in their prayers."</p> <p>Sig</p> Iraq Society Stupid People Wed, 05 Dec 2007 16:00:46 +0000 sig 539 at Safer today than under Saddam? <p>Duncan Maxwell Anderson at <em>The American Thinker</em> <a href="" rel="nofollow">crunches some numbers.</a> Emphases added by Sig.<br /> [quote]According to the French wire service AFP, which is not known for its support for U.S. interests, in Iraq as a whole, 840 Iraqi civilians were killed last month by militias, bombs, or armies-or <strong>28 people per day</strong>. That's a 50-percent drop, down from 1,771 in August</p> <p>. . .</p> <p>If we're talking about only civilians and political prisoners, the toll for Saddam's 23 years in power was at least 300,000 people murdered; that's 13,043 per year; 1,086 per month; or <strong>36 per day</strong>. </p> <p>At that rate, if AFP's estimate is the correct one, for an Iraqi civilian, it's safer to be in the middle of a hot war under American rule today, than "at peace" under Saddam. And of course, Saddam's 300,000 political murders are a number apart from the 500,000 or so Iraqi soldiers he sent to their deaths in his bizarre invasions of Iran and Kuwait. And the hundreds or thousands of murders around the world that he caused as a financier of terrorism.[/quote]<br /> Read the whole thing. He makes a very good point about the necessary evil of our invasion of Iraq in relation to the ongoing evil caused by our inaction. It's always easier to say no, to opt out, to do nothing, but that doesn't mean that it's the better choice.</p> <p>Sig</p> Iraq Media Coverage War on Terror Thu, 18 Oct 2007 15:24:12 +0000 sig 532 at The media is lying to you. <p>Via Blackfive, <a href="" rel="nofollow">this entry</a> at Protein Wisdom is the best indictment of the war coverage I have seen so far. It puts the Scott Thomas Beauchamp disgrace in context with the overall "big picture" in coverage of Iraq. This is the sort of thing I wish I could put together.</p> <p>If you still believe that you're getting truth from the American mass media, you owe it to yourself to read this entry and some of the many references that back it up. Even if you don't, it's an excellent reminder of just how bad things have become, and some of what is at stake.</p> <p>Sig</p> Iraq Media Coverage Politics Thu, 30 Aug 2007 14:22:20 +0000 sig 522 at A defeat of will <p>There's a lot of flap over at Blackfive and elsewhere about Senator Harry Reid, specifically this clip:<center><br /> <object width="425" height="350"><br /> <param name="movie" value=""></param> <param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object></center><br /> This is a war of will, not arms. I support the war in Iraq, and I am willing to go there any time the Army cares to send me, but I don't think we are going to win. Not because we lack the ability or the weapons or the numbers, but because we lack the will. The only people who can defeat us in Iraq are our own politicians, our talking heads, and our newspaper columnists. Their fears and their hatred and their cynicism and their political maneuvers are going to cost Iraq, destroy our military's morale, undermine our public confidence, and invite further aggression by the people we are warring with. Thousands of people who trusted us and believed us and helped us when we said we would stay and make things right are going to be murdered in the aftermath.<br /> <br>I hope I'm wrong.<br /> <br>Sig</p> Iraq War on Terror Fri, 20 Apr 2007 14:53:24 +0000 sig 481 at The writing that I'm not doing <p>It's kind of hard to motivate myself to spend time in front of the computer after spending all day in front of the computer. You may have noticed that my content comes in fits and spurts--nothing for a week, and then four or five things in a day. I'm trying to be more diligent, but it's kind of hit or miss.</p> <p>I have lots on my mind. Life is good, but there are things ever looming on the horizon. Chief among those at the moment is that my little brother just received his warno--looks like <a href=",15240,131761,00.html" rel="nofollow">another trip to the sandbox along with 12,000 of his closest friends</a>. The situation may work out where he could go as a chaplain--since that's what he's been aiming for these last few years--rather than as a radio guy or artillery guy or whatever it is that he would otherwise do. I hope so, though not (just) for his safety. That's where his heart's been at for a while, and it would be better for everybody if he could be at it. Though I personally think chaplains should probably be locked up for their own protection--I don't get going into a war zone without all of the firepower you can manage--I'm quite happy to salute one, even if he happens to be my little brother.</p> <p>It's been made abundantly clear to me that I am not to contemplate lunatic schemes to join him in his overseas adventure.</p> <p>Also of interest, I will be contributing a piece here and there on a new group site for "war vets" as which, I am surprised to realize, I now qualify. There seems to be a fair quantity of support and momentum to get it off the ground, and I'm rather flattered to be ask to be part of it. I will post linkage and more info as it becomes available, but it should start up before April is out.</p> <p>I won't be neglecting SigSpace--well, not anymore than I already do. Some of my military-minded material will probably show up there first, but I want to write about other things, and this will always be the place for whatever strikes my fancy.</p> <p>I would write more now, but I am doing important research for the next in my review series. In this case, <a href=";q=Lego+Star+Wars+II" rel="nofollow">Lego Star Wars II</a> for XBox.</p> <p>Yeah, my life is rough.</p> <p>Sig</p> Iraq Site Notes Writing Wed, 11 Apr 2007 02:20:55 +0000 sig 476 at Is this good or bad? <p>I originally found it in the Early Bird, but for the benefit of those not having access, dug around for the original NY Times article on Google.</p> <p><a href="" rel="nofollow">Troop Rise Aids Iraqis, Bush Says, Citing Bloggers</a>:[quote]WASHINGTON, March 28 — President Bush has discovered bloggers. Iraqi bloggers.</p> <p>Mr. Bush — a man not known for his love of the working press, and certainly no fan of anonymous quotes — cited two Iraqi bloggers on Wednesday in a speech asserting that his troop buildup, despite Congressional criticism and calls for withdrawal, was helping improve everyday life for Iraqis.</p> <p>“I want to share with you how two Iraqi bloggers — they have bloggers in Baghdad, just like we’ve got here,” Mr. Bush told an audience of ranchers and cattlemen, after remarking that Iraqis were beginning to see “positive changes.”</p> <p>He went on to quote the bloggers directly: “Displaced families are returning home, marketplaces are seeing more activity, stores that were long shuttered are now reopening. We feel safer about moving in the city now. Our people want to see this effort succeed. We hope the governments in Baghdad and America do not lose their resolve.” [/quote]</p> <p>(For the curious, here is the <a href=";ct=:ePkh8BM9E0LYwa_F7ZiWnpGYl1lckphnwAKxjwFsN8wKI4GliSb9QZqzJ195dMt08_PYcwDF3BKV/4-0&amp;fp=460b93bb9a34fd38&amp;ei=1M4LRobuPJ7ioQOq8szEBQ&amp;url=http%3A//;cid=1114856643" rel="nofollow">transcript of President Bush's speech to National Cattlemen's Beef Association</a>.)</p> <p>So is this a good sign because of the actual news, that there are people in Baghdad who believe that things are getting better, or a bad sign because the President is somehow "reduced" to using weblogs to justify his position? No question which one the writer thinks, as after devoting the remainder of the article to the question of the webloggers' identities, she makes sure to throw in a snarky comment:[quote]In a footnote at the end, the administration disclosed that the bloggers were Omar and Mohammed Fadhil, two brothers who are both dentists and who write an English-language blog,, from Baghdad. The White House said their writings had been cited in mainstream news outlets; on March 5, the Fadhil brothers wrote an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal titled “Notes from Baghdad.”</p> <p>Oh, yes, and on Dec. 9, 2004, they met in the Oval Office with Mr. Bush.[/quote]</p> <p>I'm confused. Is this a real-news-vs.-silly-blogs sort of thing? Half of the article is devoted to questions about the identity and credibility of the sources, after all. Or is it purely a political thing, with the not-so-subtle insinuation that these guys are in cahoots with our Commander in Chief to make things look better than they are? Either way, I expect my slanted media to be more circumspect in their biases.</p> <p>Can you really call this news? Apparently the NY Times isn't sure, either; I found the article in question under the political news section--<strong>and</strong> the <a href="" rel="nofollow">political commentary blog</a>.</p> <p>Sig</p> Iraq Media War on Terror Thu, 29 Mar 2007 14:53:38 +0000 sig 470 at